I thought I would post some info about my "backyard theater".
I have a Crestron home automation system for control.
Here you can see the screen up... in a motorized enclosure above the bay window:
This picture shows the screen down. The screen is a 100% opaque white sunshade... made to withstand the weather.
The projector is a Sanyo high definition model. I needed a projector that was very bright (3000 lumens), had a good throw distance, and good keystoning (since the angle is about 35 degrees). I have been very impressed with the picture quality as well as the viewing angle. People on the upper deck and in the hot tub can see a very clear picture. The projector sits on top of a rolling metal shelf that was intended for kitchen use. I keep it in the basement control room when it's not in use.
This is how the projector is connected to the control system. The following video sources are available:
DVDs from an Escient DVD server - 800 disc capacity
High definition DirecTV and OTA locals from 1 of 2 HD DirecTivos
PC access using wireless keyboard/mouse (1776X1000 or 1152X648 resolution)
Modified XBOX - can play games using wireless controllers and also use it as a network connected media server with XBMC
Security camera display... If the doorbell rings, I get an audio alert through the outdoor speakers. I can switch to the front door camera to see who is at the door, and talk to them through an intercom.
There are 3 audio zones that can be used, independently or together, depending on where people are located. Each zone has a local volume control knob.
Zone 1 is the main zone which has 2 12" Rockustics planter speakers. The arrow is pointing to one of them. These can be moved anywhere on the lower deck.
Zone 2 is on the upper deck. It has 2 8" planter speakers.
Zone 3 is the hot tub zone. There is 1 Niles dual speaker mounted under the deck directly facing the hot tub.
In addition to the audio that goes with the above video sources, FM radio is available as well as CDs in the Escient server and mp3s on the network.
In this picture you can also see a natural gas firepit, locted to the right of the projector... for those chilly nights.
This shows the HD Tivo source from the firepit area:
Here is a DVD image from behind the pool:
I got everything up and running last October, so I didn't have too many chances to use it last year... other than a few Monday Night Football get togethers.
I'm looking forward to many outdoor viewing events this year.